Educationists are letting students take college level courses in high school. They want to increase the number of students going to college and graduate on time.
The dual-credit or dual-enrollment programs allow high school students to earn college credit, habituate to college-level work, and give a head start towards their degree while saving some money on courses.
But every well-intentional policy carries unintended consequences. Florida and California is shutting down their remedial classes for Math and English, raising a concern whether the future engineers will know enough of calculus.
Complaints are about some white-collar apprenticeships for high school students, which are cutting into class schedules. Some universities have stopped giving F grade.
While everyone wants to improve education, our good intentions are making unintentional mistakes.Research says that dual enrollment increase the numbers, makes it easier for students to earn college degree efficiently. 84 percent of dual enrollment students go to college later on.
But in this race of figures, are we missing on the quality of instruction? Maybe yes because the easiest way to increase enrollment is to lower the bar.
Some of the colleges are even susceptible about the quality of education these dual enrollment students get, that’s why one-third of colleges won’t accept their credits.
Moreover, the teachers are under-qualified for their intended subject. It’s hard to find teachers for dual enrollment programs as at least they should have a Master’s degree.
The reason why dual enrollment is popular is that everybody wins in this game. Research found out that students who enroll for dual enrollment are more likely to attend college even without the program.
Another way to encourage students to enroll in college is through high school apprenticeship. But the teachers find that it deprives the students of a big chunk of their education.
University of California, Santa Cruz has asked its planners to reduce the number of required credits wherever they can. Community College of Aurora in Colorado increased the focus of instructors on teaching writing but on the other hand reduced the amount of writing assignments students were given in the introductory course.
These reforms are trying to reduce the amount of time students spend in the college. 85 percent students enroll for two years community colleges but take three years or more to complete it. 62 percent students take more than five years to complete a four-year degree course.
It appears like the policymakers want to get more people through the college, and that’s why they are cutting as many requirements as they can. But the end result is that they end up diluting the value of their degrees.
Some universities are squeezing four years program into three years program, which reduces the money and time spent in college. But doesn’t it makes it also reduces the chance of success?
We should stop bringing reforms just for the sake of it and stop compromising on the quality of education. Our reforms need to be more of far-fetched plans that look at every consequence with a magnifying glass.